The Australian Travel Industry paused on Saturday night to remember those lost in the MH17 tragedy and extend sympathies to those affected.
Addressing the 2014 Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) National Travel Industry Awards, AFTA CEO Jayson Westbury said the industry’s thoughts were with those who had lost loved ones.
“As you would all be aware the loss of the 298 people yesterday has had an impact across the globe. Indeed, 28 Australians have lost their lives in this despicable act against the freedoms of the globe and the innocence of civilians. We mark this moment and recognise this tragedy as we begin our event tonight.”
More than 1300 industry leaders and representatives gathered at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion in Moore Park for the Awards Event with a record 34 travel industry individuals and groups named number one in their respective categories.
Awards for excellence were announced across a record number of categories with helloworld Limited taking out the Best Travel Agency Group, Bicton Travel were awarded Best Travel Agency Retail – Single Location and The Travel Authority were named Best Travel Agency Corporate – Multi Location, to name a few.
Australian superstar, Timomatic was the surprise guest entertainer.
“Tonight has been a true reflection of the camaraderie, strength and commitment of the people who make up the Australian Travel Industry,” Mr Westbury said.
“Each year our judging panel must choose from a finalist pool of incredible talent. The fact that these awards have attracted such a diverse range of travel intermediaries and individuals demonstrates the skill and expertise within the industry and the competitive nature and passion of its participants vying for the award.”
“The Australian Travel Industry is powering forward, and the willingness of these travel professionals to adapt, innovate and continuously grow with the times is a strong reminder of this. Congratulations to all finalists and winners.”
The evening was hosted by Australian actor, author and TV personality, Andrew Daddo for the second year in a row.
The winners across all 34 categories were highly praised for their efforts. “On behalf of AFTA, I would like to thank all our sponsors and award nominees for their participation in the 2014 NTIA. We look forward to your continued support in 2015.” Mr Westbury said.
Qantas is the major sponsor of the 2014 NTIA, providing much valued support in recognising and celebrating the best of the best in the Australian Travel Industry.